The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


This course introduces students to the science of polymeric and colloidal materials with emphasis on the methods of their preparation, structure-property relationships, and industrial and environmental applications. Throughout the course, the relationship between the structure and properties of the materials and their performance and applications will be highlighted. The laboratory component provides training in techniques which are specific to the preparation and characterisation of polymers and colloids, and are relevant to both industrial and research settings.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Describe the different approaches to the preparation of polymers and colloids.

2. Differentiate the various types of polymeric and colloidal materials.

3. Assess the applicability of the various synthetic approaches in the industrial production of polymeric and colloidal materials.

4. Relate the structure and properties of polymers and colloids to their performance and intended applications.

5. Describe the utility of polymeric and colloidal materials in environmental applications, e.g. wastewater treatment.

6. Demonstrate competence in the use of various procedures and instruments for the synthesis and characterisation of polymers and colloids.

7. Apply the scientific process in the conduct and reporting of experimental investigations.

8. Demonstrate an awareness of the safety responsibilities involved in working with chemicals and hazardous substances.


  1. Classification of polymers.
  2. Synthesis of polymers: step polymerisation, radical chain polymerisation, emulsion polymerisation, ionic chain polymerisation, ring-opening polymerisation, chain copolymerisation.
  3. Properties and characterisation of polymers in solid and solution states.
  4. Types and preparation of colloidal materials.
  5. Characterisation of colloidal dispersions.
  6. Theory and control of colloid stability.
  7. Industrial and environmental applications of polymeric and colloidal materials.  


Students must have successfully completed CHEM2310 or CHEM2410 to enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

CHEM2310 Organic Chemistry

CHEM2410 Physical Chemistry

Assessment items

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Lab Reports *

Written Assignment: Written Assignments

Formal Examination: Formal Examination *

Presentation: Oral Presentation

* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Laboratory: There is a compulsory attendance requirement in this course. - Students must participate in and submit laboratory reports for the established minimum requirements.
  • Laboratory: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory safety induction.

Course Assessment Requirements:

  • Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Attempt / Submission Requirement - Students must attempt/submit this assessment item to pass the course.
  • Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Pass Requirement - Students must pass this assessment item to pass the course.
  • Formal Examination: Minimum Grade / Mark Requirement - Students must obtain a specified minimum grade / mark in this assessment item to pass the course. - Students must obtain a minimum passing grade of 40% in the final, end-of-semester examination for the course.

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term